Belle Gibson, the 23-year-old Melbourne social media entrepreneur who launched The Whole Pantry empire, has admitted in an interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly that she lied about ever having had cancer.
The news comes after months of speculation that started when The Age reported Gibson had failed to hand over huge sums she had claimed to have donated to charities last year. From there, The Australian started an investigation into Gibson’s health claims and the story quickly snowballed. Soon enough, The Whole Pantry app was removed from the iTunes store, the book was taken off shelves and all traces of Gibson’s social media persona were erased. Read the details and timeline of the backlash here.
Now, after Victoria Police stated they would not pursue criminal charges against Gibson earlier this month, the disgraced wellness blogger has spoken out about the controversy in an exclusive interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly for which she was not paid. In the interview, Gibson was asked outright whether she has, or has ever had, cancer. Her response?
“No. None of it’s true”
This monumental confession was followed by some weak explanations about what compelled her to lie, suggesting that a troubled childhood may have been the crux of it, saying, “When I started school, my mum went, ‘My daughter is grown up now’. All of a sudden I was walking to school on my own, making school lunches and cleaning the house every day.
“It was my responsibility to do grocery shopping, do the washing, arrange medical appointments and pick up my brother. I didn’t have any toys.”
On deciding to give the interview, Gibson told AWW, “I just think [speaking out] was the responsible thing to do. Above anything, I would like people to say, ‘Okay, she’s human. She’s obviously had a big life. She’s respectfully come to the table and said what she’s needed to say, and now it’s time for her to grow and heal.’”
The full story will appear in the May issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly on shelves tomorrow.
Images: Belle Gibson’s Instagram and The Australian Women’s Weekly
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